Full Story Published: Friday, 06 May 2016 15:41
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has declared a Restricted Fire Zone in much of Northwestern Ontario to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires. Effective May 7, the Restricted Fire Zone is in place and will remain in effect until conditions improve. The fire hazard is extreme because of unusually dry spring conditions which have resulted in increasing forest fire activity. The long-term weather forecast offers no relief in the form of significant precipitation.
Under the Restricted Fire Zone, all burning permits are suspended and all open fires are prohibited. Campfires may be allowed at some organized campgrounds or parks that use approved fire pits and meet certain other criteria. Campers should check with the owners or operators first. Within the Restricted Fire Zone area, people can still use portable gas stoves for cooking and warmth, but the public is asked to exercise extreme caution. Fire staff and conservation officers will strictly enforce the restrictions on open burning. The announcement comes a day after a total fire ban was put in place for Kenora. Under the ban, all burning is prohibited, including open burning, fireworks, back yard fire pits, cook stoves that use solid fuels. The ban is in effect until further notice. It came into effect after two forest fires, one to the west approximately six kilometres north of Ingolf, and one to the north, near Red Lake in Woodland Caribou Park, led to smoke seeping into Kenora and Dryden. The fire in Ingolf started Thursday night and has grown from 300 to 600 hectares in size.